night-blooming cereus

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night-blooming cereus:

see cactuscactus,
any plant of the family Cactaceae, a large group of succulents found almost entirely in the New World. A cactus plant is conspicuous for its fleshy green stem, which performs the functions of leaves (commonly insignificant or absent), and for the spines (not always
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night-blooming cereus

symbol of fading loveliness; blooms briefly. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 176]
See: Brevity
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.